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Can Drinking Tea at Night Help You Sleep?

Having Trouble Falling Asleep? Try Drinking 1 of These Teas Before Climbing Into Bed

Photo of a young woman drinking her first cup of coffee still sitting in her bed, in pajamas

The next time you're struggling to wind down in the evening, you should consider sipping some tea. A cup before bed may help you fall asleep faster.

"The warmth of tea, coupled with herbs, may make it easier for some individuals to relax," Nancy Farrell Allen, MS, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told POPSUGAR. "There are several teas on the market that are promoted as sleep aids."

One of those is chamomile tea, which contains an antioxidant called apigenin that's been shown to reduce anxiety and act as a sedative. "Tilia flowers, valerian, and passionflower are a few others," Nancy said. To use tea effectively, she recommends steeping it for a few minutes, then enjoying a cup about an hour before bed, which will give you time to use the bathroom before trying to fall asleep.

Nancy did share one warning, though: "Know your personal safety concerns with herbal compounds," she said. Allergic reactions and side effects can occur, and use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as with other drugs, herbs, and dietary supplements, haven't been well studied. "Use herbal compounds you are familiar with, and which are sold by major manufacturers to assure purity," Nancy explained.

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